Does your husband or wife have the Quality Time love language? If so, it's important for your marriage that you understand what this means and how to best meet their desire for Quality Time with you.
In this post, we are going to discuss exactly what Quality Time together means and how to give it to your spouse.
So if you are interested in learning more about the love language of Quality Time or the five love languages in general, then this post was written just for you.
What are the 5 Love Languages
In Dr. Gary Chapman's book - The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts, he provides a collection of his observations over many years of helping couples improve their marriage. Among his observations were that people typically perceived love and appreciation through one or two primary love languages.
The five love languages identified by Dr. Chapman include:
- Words of Affirmation - spoken or written words of love
- Quality Time - quality time focused on your spouse
- Receiving Gifts - thoughtful and meaningful gifts
- Acts of Service - looking to serve your spouse
- Physical Touch - a touch that conveys love for your spouse
When Anne and I were first married, we studied The 5 Love Languages book together. We did so to help us learn how to better communicate and meet each other's need for love and attention.
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By doing so and completing the Love Languages quiz (see our link below to take the quiz), we learned that Quality Time is one of Anne's Love Languages. It's one of the primary ways that she perceives love.
Understanding this about her has helped me know how to communicate with her. It has helped me know that I can touch her heart by creating time in our schedules for us to connect with each other.
Until couples have this understanding of how to connect with each other, their relationship may struggle to reach its full potential.
Further discussion of The 5 Love Languages can be found in our post Build a Happy Marriage: Learn How Now.
What is Quality Time
What exactly is Quality Time?
Quality Time is described by Dr. Chapman as focused attention on each other. It's giving your spouse your undivided attention. As I mentioned above, Quality Time is one of Anne's love languages. This means that she really feels loved and secure in our marriage when we spend time connecting with each other.
Sometimes Anne and I will sit on the couch and just watch a couple episodes of The Office, Big Bang Theory, or Parks and Recreation. The awkwardness of Michael Scott or the antics of Sheldon Cooper and his friends really makes us laugh.
When we are watching our shows, we are next to each other (and occasionally checking our phones), but is this really quality time? Although it's relaxing and we are together, it's really not the type Quality Time that speaks to her heart. It's not the time with me that she (and our marriage) really needs.
For that time on the couch to truly be Quality Time, we need to turn off Leslie, Ron, and the Parks and Recreation crew from Pawnee, Indiana. We need to put our phones away and just focus on connecting with each other.
A central aspect for Quality Time is togetherness, I do not mean proximity...Togetherness has to do with focused attention - Dr. Gary Chapman.
By removing the outside distractions and focusing on what is being said by the other, we are able to catch up and find out what is going on in our respective lives.
Another example of what is and isn't Quality Time is when Anne and I go out to eat. Hypothetically, if Anne and I were to go out to eat and I just sat at the table and watched the TV behind the bar or looked at my phone the whole time, would that evening out meet her desire to spend Quality Time with me? Of course not, although we are together in proximity, it's not Quality Time.
In order to speak her love language of Quality Time, I must focus my attention on her. Ask her about what's going on in her life. Talk about the goals we have for our relationship. By doing so I am telling her that I understand her needs and care enough about our relationship to make this time together.
That type of attention on her and making those connections is what Quality Time is all about. Just remember that when it comes to spending time with your spouse, the key is focused attention.
"It's so important to keep a marriage alive with small treats and doing little things for each other. Just remembering to say nice things and to have listening time is vital. That ghastly phrase 'quality time' means taking three minutes to sit down and be still with someone rather than yelling over your shoulder as you rush out." Joanna Lumley
Why Quality Time is Important for Marriage
Marriages are built through the connection between spouses. Spending time together is key for couples to create and maintain that connection.
With the hectic lives that we all live, it's so easy to get into a routine of fixing dinner, getting kids to and from ball practice, etc., etc., etc. If you aren't careful, the next thing you know is that weeks have gone by and you and your spouse have not spent any time together. You have let the hustle and bustle of life make you more into two people trying to raise a family and run a household than a husband and wife.
If Quality Time is one of your spouse’s love languages, then it’s very important for you to make time to focus your attention on them.
"Finding moments for quality connections in marriage takes planning. It requires intentionality. Quality Time rarely happens by chance." - sexymarriage.net
Examples of Quality Time in Marriage
For some spouses, meeting their partners need for Quality Time can be very daunting. The thought of having to plan time together may be a bit overwhelming. Honestly, if this is the case for you then you are probably overthinking it a bit much. Quality Time with your spouse doesn't have to be a huge event. It can be a very simple outing to a park or just sitting at home on the couch. Again, focused attention is all you are after here.
Time with your spouse doesn't have to be hours upon hours of endless conversation (unless that's what you both want). You can spend 15 minutes each day just listening to each other and catching up.
"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." - Friedrich Nietzsche
Below is a list of example things you can do with your spouse to spend some time together.
A 5-minute conversation on the porch swing
As said above, Quality Time can be just a short conversation away from your everyday distractions. Sit somewhere quiet with your spouse and connect for a bit. Remember that focused attention on your spouse is your goal.
Dinner together either at home or at a restaurant
Anne and I love to go out to eat. It gives us a chance to sit across from each other and talk about everything under the sun. A good practice is to set your cell off to the side and out of the line of sight or just leave it in the car. Do whatever you need to do in order to eliminate the temptation to check social media or emails. Nothing happening on Facebook is as important as your spouse sitting right in front of you.
A walk around a local nature trail
A little fresh air, a little exercise, and a great opportunity to catch up with your spouse. Holding hands while you walk is especially good when one of you has the love language of Physical Touch.
Doing a DIY project together
Doing something where you share a common goal can be great for building a connection. Do you have a bedroom that needs to be redone or home project you have been putting off for a while? Try working with your spouse on that DIY project. You can talk, laugh, etc. while you are at it.
A planned date night
You should never stop dating your spouse. If you have to put a date night on your calendar, get a sitter for the kids, then do whatever it takes. Your spouse will appreciate your efforts to make time for you two to spend together.
Take a vacation day and spend the whole day together
Anne and I have done this and it is great. When life is busy and you struggle to make time for each other, just take a day or two of vacation. It can be a stay-cation at home or you can go on a quick getaway. It's just important that you two are spending time with each other.
Play cards or a board game together
Haven't played a board game in a while? Pull that Monopoly game out of the closet and use that to interact with your spouse. This can make for a fun and cheap date night at home.
Never pass up and opportunity to dance with your wife. Yes, just put on some music and use the kitchen as your dance floor.
Create a book club for two
If you and your spouse enjoy reading, then a simple book club for two is a great way to create some great time together. This would a perfect time to read The 5 Love Languages and take the quiz together.
When you pray (and pray together), you open yourself up to both God and your spouse. You're making your inner thoughts and feelings known to both. Creating a connection is a key aspect of the Quality Time love language and few things create a connection like you and your spouse opening yourselves up.
Develop a Quality Time schedule
Busy schedule? Just add your Quality Time to your calendar. If you a set time each day, each week, etc., you are more likely to make it happen.
Find a common interest
Is there an activity that you both enjoy? Whether it's going to a museum, fishing, or hiking - find some areas where you have common interests and do those activities together.
Return to your courtship
When you were dating, you made time for each other. You were trying to get to know each other and make a connection. Don't let that part of your relationship slip away just because you are now married. Look for ways that you can continue with your courtship. Remember that you can't stop courting your spouse when you get married. Keep doing what got you together.
In the end, you are going to have to know what will be meaningful to your spouse and what will meet their needs.
How to Put the Quality Time Love Language in Motion
Life is busy. You feel you barely have time to get your stuff done as it is. How are you going to carve out more time in your schedule?
A couple suggestions are to Plan and Prioritize your Quality Time:
Plan your Quality Time
If it helps you, put in on your calendar. Just like you would any meeting or appointment, set some time for you and your spouse to unplug from everything around you and reconnect.
Prioritize your Quality Time
If you have some free time this upcoming weekend, do you plan a golf outing with your buddies or do you plan how you can spend some time with your wife?
What message are you sending if you and your wife haven't spend any Quality Time together is a while and the first free time you get is spent with people other than her?
I understand that couples can have individual hobbies and it's certainly ok to have an outing with the guys or a girls night out, but you should never do this at the expense of your spouse.
You must make sure that when you have free time, that you prioritize how that time is spent.
Creating moments of Quality Time with your spouse can be done in countless ways that can all be super effective. You just need to understand that your spouse needs your time and that you both need to make it happen.
Five Love Languages Quiz
How do you know if Quality Time is a love language for you or your spouse? You can find a quiz for him and for her here.
Anne and I took this quiz many years ago. Identifying our respective love languages has been really critically important for how we communicate in our marriage.
Until you understand how your spouse perceives love, you will struggle to speak love in a manner that touches their heart. Similarly, you need to understand your own love language so you can effectively communicate your needs to your spouse.
Concluding Thoughts on the Quality Time Love Language
When it comes down to speaking your spouse's Quality Time love language, you really need to focus on giving them your undivided attention. It doesn't have to be a big production or anything like that, it just needs to be a time where you both can make a connection with each other.
Whether you have to put a periodic reminder on your calendar or a sticky note on your computer, make sure you don't let too much time go by between moments when you connect with each other.
Pay attention to what's going on in their life and realize when your spouse is really needing some time with you. Are they going through a difficult time at work? Are they worried about the health of a family member? As their spouse, you must be aware of when they need your support and comfort.
We've been so busy keepin' up with the Jones
Four car garage and we're still building on
Maybe it's time we got back to the basics of love - Waylon Jennings - Luckenbach, Texas
If you see this need in your spouse, set some time for you to connect through Quality Time. This very simple gesture will show them that you understand their needs and how they interpret love.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below. We'd love to hear from you and know your ideas for spending Quality Time with your spouse.
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Until next time, God bless
Steve and Anne
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